Thursday, August 23, 2012

How was Uganda, Part 3.....

Part 3….

We spent the next day at the Kirabo Seeds home with the kids and it was such a blessing to be with the kids all day after Sunday.  
I felt renewed, teaching them about the full armor of God, and God being rich in mercy and great love and grace!  Their memory verse we were teaching them was Ephesians 2:4-5 "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved."  
(Carly, Ashley and Jordan with some of the kids)
We started the day just having them read to us; they are all learning English at school and they enjoyed practicing to us.  That day Daniel and Angela both just kept tugging on a piece of my heart.  I loved getting to know more of the kids and their personalities.
(Daniel reading me the Jesus story book bible, the same one my kids and I read).
We got to watch them play soccer, and they even taught us "cards."  THE card game they know how to play.  All of us mzungu played a lot of cards over there, so it was fun to learn a game they knew.  We called it Musa, he's the oldest boy who lives in the home, 12, and he always wanted to play with us.  

But that day I really saw what I wrote in my journal, “the plea of the devil to distract us from our true work there.  Loving as God loved us.”  I was fearful; I was convicted of parts of my attitude, for ways to better serve Him, all because of His sacrifice for me.  
(most of our team with the kids)
The next day I awoke with a craving that was so deep it was almost physical, for God’s word.  The distractions in Uganda were so few, and I pleaded with God that day to keep that craving inside of me when I returned home.  I love Eric and the kids, but I can do nothing for them if I’m not filled with God first and foremost. 
Here are some pictures of the traffic and busy people around Kampala:

On Tuesday we went to serve at Loving Hearts Babies Home (the orphanage where Kira—Tonya’s daughter—was before she came home to her family) and it was SUCH a blessing.  Leading up to that day I only could think of how I’d feel there (sad that we’re still waiting, anxious about how they children are cared for—though Tonya had told me it was very well!, burdened for my future son, etc), but once I was there and began praying for each of those precious blessings, all of a sudden all I saw was pure beauty.  

Tonya gave me a brief tour when we first got there.  There are no pictures allowed when inside the orphanage to protect the children there waiting on families.  BUT, I begged her to snap this picture.  It was painted on the wall in the home.  It may look familiar, it is the same verse we have on our shirts.  (We still have some left, you can see them here).

The joy and happiness that I experienced because these babies already had a family praying for them just overwhelmed me.  I felt honored and God continued to reveal to me that I can trust His plans.  I don’t want to be still waiting.  I don’t want to be in this place of anticipation every time I get an email from our agency, but I know, and now I TRUST, that this is His plan.  That Eph 3:20 is true: “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us”.  I can’t even begin to imagine what He has planned for me; all I can do is follow Him.  And I wouldn't want to be living life any other way.  

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How was Uganda, Part 2

Part two….
Part of the team on our way to meet the kids!
Saturday was great.  It was my first time meeting the kids at the Kirabo Seeds orphanage (the one Tonya runs) and we took the kids to Wonder World.  Their smiling faces for seeing this place (that we would have cast off as a parking lot carnival) were so eye opening.  

1 John 4:12 stuck out that day, “if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”  I just prayed, “Lord God, help me to love well – as you loved me – otherwise how will people possibly understand your love for them.
 Thank you for loving me, for my peace that comes from you.  Give me the words please God – and the silent moments where I listen to the kids & reflect on your work in their life.”  

The rest of the team had met the kids, but I hadn’t.  They were shy at first, but still gave me big hugs.  

What I remember most is how they stuck together.  When my kids are playing at a friend’s house – we are constantly counting, making sure we know where everyone is (and we don’t have 14 typically!).  But I was the only one counting to make sure we had all 14.  
Precious Dennis.

They are expected to stay together and listen to Phiona, Julie and Robert, and they did just that.  They were fast with smiles and quick with affection.  Angela, one of the oldest girls, 12, stuck pretty close to me that day.  She’s a great reader and was teaching me words around the park (like Abakyala = woman) J.  She was just beautiful.  Angela and I.

Paul and Daniel, brothers, both were pretty shy, but so fun and handsome.  It was a good day. 

Sunday was a hard day.  I started the day praising God for His peace and quiet.  I missed my kids, but I needed that time away, a time of renewal even through the hard parts.  Proverbs 24 spoke to me so clearly that day. 

 But then we went to James’ church and there was no spirit moving in that room.  What a day I had longed for….church in Uganda!  The dancing and singing was beautiful.  
But the message was not from God.  I tried and tried to quiet my spirit and listen for God, but I just couldn’t hear.  I tried to listen, but the screaming and microphone was getting to me. 
 So I tried to quiet myself and read God’s word.  It was good, as always, but mostly I just prayed and tried to understand the English that was being spoken.  
(Tonya and Kira, her daughter she adopted from Uganda almost 2 years ago)
Sweet face

As soon as we walked out of that church I could breathe again.  
Daniel and I

God still spoke, and answered prayers, even in the hard times, He proved trustworthy again.  God began that day to teach me truly the fear of the Lord vs. the fear of man.  That one (fear of the Lord) is the beginning of wisdom and insight.  

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How was Uganda?

I realize I've been a horrible blogger (for, what a year now?) :).  My friend Tonya had told me before we ever left that I needed to write her a report (to get her amazing pictures) after I got back.  Not really for her, but for me to process the trip and all the things God was trying to teach me, or show me in His word. She's done this now 6 times and it always helps her.  But I kept putting it off, 'officially.'  I re-read days of my journal every day during my quiet to.  So I won't forget.  So I will always remember the feelings I had there.  And I'm still dealing with them today.  So, I sat down with my journal last time to type up what I wanted to share with her.  I can't share all of it here, as some of what I experienced is Kirabo Seeds, and not mine to share.  But, the processing was good.  And as I read a blog today for a friend, I realized sharing my story is good.  Not worrying about what others think, but instead hoping someone takes a piece of my Jesus story and it helps them.  So, since it was 5 pages, I will post a bit each day for the next few days.  So, here goes Misty's journey to Uganda, part 1!  **Updated with pictures.**

I'm just going to post them here.  
Woman carrying her heavy load.
 Kids looking in trash for food, stuff to sell.
 George getting food at the local produce market.  Farmers markets everywhere! :)

My first day there we went to the Friday market.  It's once a week and it's basically a wholesale market where you can purchase ANYTHING.  Their artwork is amazing and you all know I love the beads!  
 Here is another shot of the market. 
 And more 'shops' in the market.
 a little traffic on what looks like Entebbe Road. 

Well that is one long journey that I don’t think you have the time to read about ;).  But I will start with our adoption journey.  We began praying and seeking and feeling led to adopt in March 2011.  By June we were well under way with paperwork, and at that point our agency mentioned a 12-18 month time frame.  We completed our homestudy that summer and thought we might, just maybe, travel in spring or summer 2012 to meet our son.  We were put on the referral waiting list on 12/19/11 and were told it was now about a 6 month wait time for a referral.  As the weeks passed, I knew it wasn’t going to be this year.  A month after we had been put on the wait list we received word that with all the slow downs, that we were looking at more like a 12 month wait for the referral.  My heart sank, but God never let go of it.  And He kept whispering to go this year.  It never quieted, it only grew.  So I contacted you (Tonya) in February and threw myself into this trip.  God continued to provide and as I think back on my preparations and planning, I remember writing, “But God keeps whispering GO, so I will.  I trust His lead and I think He’s calling me there before our adoption to truly fall in love with the country and the people.  To break my heart for the orphan crisis there, something that’s easy to see on blogs and in photos, but will be a completely different and difficult thing in person.”   He was there in the little things and the big things.  We made just enough through my side job (before I quit it after I got back) to pay for the airfare.  Then when we met in late February and you (Tonya) said you wanted us to focus in Ephesians, I just knew God was with me.  I had been studying Ephesians for 6 months (plus it is one of my all time favorite books)! 

As time went on, things were busy.  We were finishing up our first year homeschooling, Eric was finishing his year, his little sister was graduating high school, and we had family obligations and work.  I remember journaling in early June that I felt I hadn’t committed enough time in the word before my trip.  Again, God just kept calling me back and the month before I left was one of the closest times in my life that I felt to God.  I was not anxious or worried leading up to my travel there alone.  I actually knew ahead of time that I would not get sick.  My friends had prayed over me and I felt God had already given me confirmation that I would not get physically sick, that I would need my physical strength to do battle over there, and I’m so glad!  And He of course was trustworthy.  My prayer as I was drawing closer to traveling were mostly to protect me and my family as we were apart, for guidance for me to scripture and stories that would captivate the children’s hearts for God, and to make clear the path for what God has for our family in Uganda.  But in listening to Him, He kept reminding me of my 3 children, that I am first called to teach and disciple them, which was a beautiful breath of life for me as well.  What was wonderful was the continued whispers from my savior.  I KNEW I was in God’s will, but I felt like I hadn’t quieted myself enough to really listen for Him.  But once I did, boy did He speak! 

Once in Uganda, the first morning I awoke one of my prayers I journaled was “Help us be quiet enough to hear your Spirit leading and guiding us.  Lord quiet my heart please.”  He immediately led me to Isaiah 26:3-4 and Psalm 56:3 and reminded me that He is trustworthy!  I prayed each morning for a heart-altering day, not just for me but for each person I met.  That He would become more so I could become less.  And Eph 6:19: “and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.”  Which sent me to 1 John 4: God is LOVE!  He reminded me to love everyone I came in contact with that day well.  Because that might be their only encounter with God’s love.  Psalm 25:5 struck me that first night, again God was teaching me about His truth, that we have to seek it and wait for it (because we are so easily led astray!)............

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